Ki Noko Crafts
What is your business name and how did you come up with it?
My business name is Ki Noko Crafts! Kinoko as a single word translates from Japanese to Mushroom, but when you break the word up and dissect the language, Ki Noko translates literally to child of the tree. It makes sense because mushrooms truly are the children of trees and it was in this mind blowing moment of amazement, that I realised how much I connected to both of these translations at the root of my being, that I decided that it was the perfect name for representing me as a person and also my business.
What products do you sell?
I make macrame decor and jewelry. Wall hangings with crystals, plant hangers in natural or plant dyed string, accessories for the homelike our little plant pot rugs and crystal macrame jewelry to adorn your body with!
What does a typical day look like?
A typical day hmm, it really depends on my mood, but lets say it is a good one! I would wake up, do some morning yoga, brew a cup of coffee, have some breakfast talk to my plants a little, frolic a little in the garden and then get on with knotting. My evening usually ends with many many cups of herbal and/or asian tea, some candles, vegan chocolate and hugs from my beautiful cats and my partner by the crackling fire.
What hours are you open?
How many people are behind your business?
Just lil ol me, making, branding, advertising, wrapping and designing your orders 💜
When did you launch?
That is an interesting question, I haven’t looked at the exact date since the day I began so let me check… (checks instagram)… the 10th of March 2018. This was the first post I ever made as Ki Noko Crafts…Wow, so much has happened since then!
What’s your favourite part of running your business?
I think my favourite part is being a pioneer for all the things I believe in and instilling these beliefs and morals into my products and business, all the way down to the little details. I love little details. This is usually where you will really find me having fun haha! I hand write all the little notes in your packages and love to put in some seasonal plants from the garden that you can reuse for tea or baths, in whatever way you please!
What got you into the business?
Welllll this is a truly very long story so let me give you the short and sweet version! I just yearned to do something, make something with my hands and be able to focus on something where I could pour my heart and soul into creatively. I had done macrame for years but it wasn’t until I got a voucher for a macrame workshop for wall hangings that I tried the art using bigger strings and once I did, I fell in love. It was a creative flow I hadn’t managed to reach in a long time and it was a truly beautiful experience to feel that flow return and I knew that this was what I wanted to explore and do in this time of my life. This was the art I was going to pour my heart into and see what lessons it brings me and how it will help me develop as a person, and well… I guess, here we are!
Have you any previous experience or interest in the field?
I actually first started playing around with macrame in the winter of 2016 in a small mountain town in the North of Thailand called Pai. I continued to play around with it, using waxed string for jewellery for a while but struggled to find any sort of flow in the art. In fact I found it very difficult, and eventually I was overtaken with the feeling of frustration of learning, being a constant novice and constantly failing haha, but I understand now that for me it was all a necessary process, I just wasn’t aware of it at the time! Now I’m back with full power making jewellery again and working more closely with crystals in this process. What a journey hey!
Do you have a shop/website?
I have a website, it is www.kinokocrafts.com
Do you offer specialist services?
Yes, I do made to order items as well as wholesale and also commissions. I use crystals in some of my work and with commissioned pieces you can have your choice of crystals, get me to choose crystals for you intuitively or even send me your own personal crystals to be used in the final creation. I’ve had many custom orders lately and I tend to spend most of my time making custom wall hangers and jewellery which I love because I have the best customers that allow me to go wild creatively and give me all the creative freedom to design their pieces. I also do wholesale!
Where are you located? Does your location reflect your product?
I am currently located in the North of Israel! 100% yes this location is reflected in my work. I live in a beautiful area which is part of a national park. My home is surrounded by fruit trees, herb bushes and wildlife; I am truly surrounded by an abundance of nature. My work always has and always will be inspired by mother nature and my current setting here in Israel could only be the perfect location for inspiration to be reflected on my products.
How do the seasons affect your business?
I cannot imagine seasons affecting my business very much, except maybe in the way of plants for plant dyeing. I dye my string with local dye plants so when they are not in season that specific shade of whatever colour may not be available. Though there are always ways around this!
Do you have any projects coming up?
I have many projects and ideas coming up. I am excited about experimenting with new plants for different coloured string and incorporating them into my products, for one. I plan to also maybe make a line of these crystal drop earrings that I custom made as a keyring initially for a customer but had so much positive feedback on earrings I’m thinking to give it a bash! I also plan to make a line of crystal macrame wraps for adorning dreadlocks too! I also have another big project coming up in making a large wall plant hanger for another wonderful artist in Australia and I can’t wait to begin with it!
What has been your biggest achievement in your business?
I think my biggest achievement has to be having my products placed in one of my favourite stores back home in Glasgow. It was also a very stressful time, I was flying out to Israel in a few days but my string had not yet arrived and I wound up with 1 and a half days to make as many plant hangers as I possibly could before I left!!! It was all a big crazy rush but to finish them all and to hand them in a big box into the store the day before I left was such a wonderful feeling. My biggest achievement indeed! They sold out of stock in 2 and a half months and I just restocked them double the amount when I was home over the Christmas period this year!
What has been your biggest hurdle?
I think my biggest hurdle has to be my own mind! I am constantly comparing myself with other makers, stressing myself out and constantly judging my work up against other peoples, wondering to myself if I am even really good enough to be doing what I am doing. It is a silly one I know, but I am sure you have all felt the wrath of the mind in this way. The hard part is overcoming that mind-set but what’s a hurdle if not something to overcome! Having this business has exposed many lessons but self confidence and strong faith in yourself and your work is one that rings very strong. We all deserve to have faith and confidence in ourselves and what we are doing if it harms no one and makes you happy.
What do you think has made your business successful?
Successful is a strong word haha! I still don’t even know if I could call myself that.. can I?! Is it crazy that I need to ask that?! I guess if I was to tell you what I think has helped make my business grow, I would say 100% that it is the support of other small businesses and makers alike who make you feel like a part of a community and offer you continuous support, help and advice, just like a little online family.
What advice would you give someone looking to start a business?
My advice would be, seriously? Just stick your foot out and do it! I think the hardest step is always the first, once you’ve got the ball rolling it is a matter of consistency. Another strong piece of advice would be to just be genuine. We are all real people here, all your followers on social media, all your customers and bloggers etc that you connect with, we are all real people. Don’t pretend to be something that you are not. Just be yourself, be transparent and stay rooted and down to earth. By doing so you can only attracted the right people.
What is your price range of products?
Talking in pound sterling the prices of my products range from between the cheapest product being around £6 to around £60. This is not taking in to consideration commissioned pieces where the price can get as big as the piece you request haha!
What are your popular products?
My most popular products are my crystal necklaces, followed very closely by my plant dyed plant hangers!
Where do you see your business in 5 years time?
I have absolutely no idea to tell you the truth! I am not limiting my creative fingers and I do plan to eventually dabble in some other crafts and things too! Hopefully I can collaborate all my skills together one day!
Tell us a little about you the owner? What was your job before this?
My name is Erika. Fully Japanese but born in England and brought up in Glasgow, Scotland since the age of 5. I have been vegan now for 3.5 years and I am an avid tea drinker, plant lover, yoga living, hula hooping wanderer. The longest I have been in the UK In the last 3 years has been 7 months, which is the time where this business was created and the length of time I stayed was entirely involuntary hahaha! My job before this was in hospitality. I will never stop loving working in a cafe.I love food, tea and coffee, beautiful spaces and just talking to people. My big dream is to open my own vegan tea house one day, covered in plants and plastered with local artwork. One day, one day.
If you had to describe your business in 5 words, what would they be?
Earthy, mindful, nature inspired, cruelty-free
Who is your business aimed at?
Everyone! Particularly crystal lovers and those with an inner gypsy soul !
What makes you stand out from your competitors?
This is a question I ask myself on a daily basis and it isn’t such an easy question to always answer. Every artist has their own unique style that makes them stand out, in every craft. That stands even within the ever growing macrame community here online. I believe that we all have our own unique style and that is what is so beautiful about any craft. It is always individual to the mind that creates it. We infuse our own ideals, style, likes, morals into our work and the combinations are limitless! This is why artwork of any kind is always so interesting, you get a unique insight into the artists mind and heart. My products will always be my own unique designs that are more often that not nature inspired. I strive to be as eco friendly and zero waste as possible. I use no single use plastics in my products or packaging and everything is animal cruelty free; the only reason I don’t say vegan is because I sometimes use the feathers dropped by the happy peacocks on our property. I will also never use harsh chemicals for dyeing my string and my crystals will always be charged and cleansed before being used. My creations are a product of my own unique mind, made with my own hands, combined with my morals and standards and this is what makes my products mine and nobody elses.
Have you got anything exciting coming up?
My exciting news would be placing my work here in my first store in Israel! I did a pop up interior design market with them just before Christmas and I’m excited about having my first wholesale here! I’m super excited about that and I’m also going to be making more jewellery in the upcoming weeks!